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Thursday, September 13, 2001, updated at 08:10(GMT+8)

1,400 Feared Dead With Toll to Climb, Nine Survive Attacks on WTC

The city that never sleeps struggled to wake up from its unimaginable nightmare, one day after bearing the brunt of the deadliest terrorist attack ever in the United States.

The wife of the nation's Solicitor General. The fire chief of New York. A young man calling his mother, moments before his plane crashed.

The fatalities from the Tuesday calamity will reach well into the thousands, but authorities cautioned that the final number will not be known for weeks, if then.

Whatever the ultimate death toll, it will be "more than any of us can bear," said New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, hours after the horrific attacks.

Victims jumped from the burning World Trade Center. Died in the inner ring of the Pentagon. Made farewell calls from the air. And fell under avalanches of rubble as they tried to rescue others.

'Horrific' scenes

The scant figures available the day after the assault hardly give meaning to the horror. But a handful of preliminary numbers offer a semblance of perspective:

10,000 -- Early number given by U.S. Rep. Jim Moran of the possible dead in the World Trade Center. An estimated 30,000 to 50,000 might have been in or near the center's twin towers when they were hit by hijacked jetliners Tuesday morning. How many of them escaped before the 110-story buildings collapsed soon after remained unknown.

800 -- High estimate for fatalities at the Pentagon, where fires raged for hours after a commercial jet slammed into it.

300 -- Firefighters feared dead in New York, most engulfed by the collapsing hulks of the twin towers of the World Trade Center, as they attempted to help victims out of the burning buildings. The total could climb much higher.

266 -- Persons aboard four jetliners, transformed by hijackers into suicide bombs, two aimed at the World Trade Center, one at the Pentagon, and one that crashed in rural Pennsylvania, which appeared to have fallen short of a target near Washington, D.C. No survivors expected.

85 -- New York City police officers thought to have died during early emergency efforts in lower Manhattan.

7 -- Known dead at New York hospitals late Tuesday. The small number provided little consolation to city authorities. Most of the dead never made it to hospitals.

In all, as many as 1,400 or more are known or presumed dead, with thousands more unaccounted for and feared dead. Some 1,400 injured were admitted to New York area hospitals, many in critical condition with extensive burns.

"They're charred. Their skin is coming off. There's tremendous suffering," one emergency doctor said.

There were sporadic reports of survivors in the rubble. But in general, the macabre scene in lower Manhattan proved disheartening to rescue workers.

Sifting through the rubble, they saw thousands of body parts strewn about. A National Guardsman collapsed in anguish, his head in his hands as he sat on the curb.

Said one man leaving the scene: "You don't want to know. You don't want to know the things we stepped over. It was horrific."

Blitzkrieg hijackers

The coordinated attack was over within an hour.

American Airlines Flight 11 slammed into the north tower of the World Trade Center in Manhattan shortly before 9 a.m. EDT. The Boeing 767 carried 81 passengers and 11 crew members en route from Boston to Los Angeles.

About 15 minutes later, United Airlines Flight 175, also en route from Boston to Los Angeles, crashed into the south tower. Also a 767, it carried 56 passengers and nine crew members.

Near Washington, American Airlines Flight 77 plowed into the Pentagon about 9:40 a.m., collapsing part of an outer wall and sparking fires still burning Wednesday morning. The Boeing 757 was en route from Washington's Dulles Airport to Los Angeles with a crew of six and 58 passengers.

A fourth aircraft, United Airlines Flight 93 from Newark, New Jersey, to San Francisco, slammed into a wooded area near Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Police said there were no survivors. There were 38 passengers and seven crew members.

The doomed airliners included prominent passengers, including Barbara Olson, a conservator commentator and frequent guest on CNN.

Using a cell phone, Olson contacted her husband, U.S. Solicitor General Ted Olson, and described the in-air crisis. Olson said his wife had booked a Monday flight but delayed her trip to celebrate his birthday Tuesday.

In New York, among those feared dead when the twin towers collapsed included Fire Chief Pete Ganci and Deputy Fire Commissioner William Feehan, longtime veterans of the department.

"I don't know what to say. We lost people who had given over 40 years," said Thomas Von Essen, the fire commissioner, fighting back tears. "We believe that many of them are still gone. We'll keep looking."

Alice Hoglan, the mother of a passenger on one of the crashed planes, received a call from her son Mathew Bingham in the air after his flight had been hijacked. He told her that if he didn't see her again, he wanted her to know that he loved her.

Nine Survive Attacks on WTC

Nine people have survived the terrorist attacks on the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York on Tuesday, including six firefighters and three police officers, rescuers said Wednesday.

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The city that never sleeps struggled to wake up from its unimaginable nightmare, one day after bearing the brunt of the deadliest terrorist attack ever in the United States.

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